Thomas wrote a post on his blog which made me think. I have never had a concept of ‘home’. Roots isn’t something I’ve sprouted much so far, and I’ve mentioned it before that I’ve never really felt more for a place than ‘Okay, this place lets me shut the door and be alone for a bit’. It has never felt as if it was mine, though. I’ve never felt emotionally attached to a place, until now.
The other day I felt this quiet little pride for our house, and that made me think – in so far as it can be called that. It is a joint thing, between Mark and me, which we have made together. And because of that is has meaning, and it has value. And since it has value, I’m emotionally attached to the place. Even if we have to move, eventually, which is highly likely I’ll remember this time as a happy one.
Though, it is like this since I stood there feeling that little pride… for a few seconds of each day I see something that reminds me of that feeling, and I think how strange it is, and how different it is to what I think I should feel. To what I’m used to feeling, and I prod the feeling like it’s some lump somewhere that has grown overnight without me noticing it.
One such reminder, like Thomas post, is one of my best friends who lives on campus, and he takes part in hall life, and complains about neighbours who are noisy long into the evening. People run in the hall, and talk in the hall, and the place isn’t that sound proof so that bleeds into his space. And then yesterday he talked about how he had some mate over until two in the morning, just talking.
You have to know this about this friend, he doesn’t have a good relationship with his parents, and his room on campus is an escape for him. He’s finally set free, and guards that freedom fiercely. And this is part of his liberation, that he can bring people into his house without risking shame and embarrassment. Like me he never felt he had a home, until now. His room is home, his castle, his retreat. And the ability to invite people into that is such a big freedom.
When he talked about life in the hall, I felt as if I wanted to be a part of that because hall life is supposed to be a large part of university life. I’m missing out on that since I don’t live on campus, and when the day is over, and I take my bike and my bag and go home, and I feel that little pride, and I feel as if I now have roots to this place. There is a separation between me and my friends in that once I’m done for the day, I shut school reality off and go to another reality. Those two don’t necessarily mix.
I’m missing out on the spontaneous meetings that happen, like with this friend and his mate at two in the morning over a cuppa in his room talking philosophy and poetry and life and love and whatever, while I trudge home to my house, my life, and my reality that has little to do with university life. Running down a hall at thre AM in the morning in a water-balloon fight isn’t something I am able to do. Stupidly enough, I feel as if I’m missing out. Maybe not on the water-balloon fights, but the chance little things that appear to happen there.
My house is not just a room where I hang my hat for the night and sleep. It’s my home. I think have sprouted roots. And for the first time in my life, I kind of feel like I belong somewhere. It’s a good feeling. In this post from ages ago where I decried my lack of roots, people said I might get roots because of people I grew attached to. I think I see what they mean now.
Roots is just as much a conscious investment in feeling toward something because of someone as it is hereditary. My friend doesn’t feel roots at all to his parents town, because he likes none of the people there. I never felt roots to my parents’ houses because they were utilitarian things, meant to house us for a while and then be discarded. Now, because of Mark, I’m investing emotions because I am content and pretty happy.